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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Training Tuesday - Nosework

Shyla and I have continued to do nosework together. I love doing training with Shyla, and nosework is the coolest kind of training that I can imagine. She follows scents that I can't see or smell, and she can very precisely tell me where the scents are coming from.

Nosework has the added benefit of making her able to function in "scary" environments where she might otherwise shut down and be unable to think.

During our summer trip, I made a habit of doing a quick nosework search with Shyla whenever we stopped in a town. It was a huge change from the quiet of our campsites to the bustle of the towns where we stopped. I want to show you one very short search in a bustling town.
In the tranquility of our campsite

We were parked in a busy parking lot with many different big stores nearby. However, on one edge, there was green grass and a bank building. It was more quiet than anyplace else in the insanely bustling shopping area.

I set up a hard search for Shyla. I put two q-tips with scents on the side of a building, with one directly above the other. That meant that the scent from the top one was falling downward and enveloping the lower one. It's a very difficult kind of problem for a nosework dog to solve.

Shyla aced it, and she didn't seem to notice all the scary stuff behind her. Here's a super short video so that you can see that search. You can watch it here or at Youtube. The hides are in the vertical crack near the middle of the video's view.

I've learned that Shyla can keep it together for one or maybe two searches in a "scary" place like that so we stopped after that single search. After the excitement of the first one or two searches abates, she notices the busy environment and gets distracted.
Despite that, I'm super pleased that she can do searches in a new town at all! That's a huge step forward for her.


  1. Hari OM
    Small wins a great victory make! YAM xx

  2. Shyla is so good at her nosework. And what a great way to distract her from her anxiety!!!

  3. It sounded very busy and so noisy, Shyla is acing the searches.

  4. Shyla is such a lucky dog to have such a dedicated owner to help her through her anxieties. Good job Shyla!

  5. Good searching Shyla!!!
    Hazel & Mabel

  6. That is the beauty of nose work for those with fearful dogs. We love those "crack" hides. Mom enjoys watching our noses trace the odor to the source along the cracks. Nice job!

  7. Such progress thanks to your hard work. Shyla has really come so far. Kudos to both of you.


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